With tourism, trade, imported chefs and restaurant chains, Dubai has a complex, unique dining culture with a growing number of regional influences. While the Michelin guide doesn’t cover restaurants in the gilded destination, there’s no shortage of upscale restaurants that have earned worldwide recognition. When you travel to Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali’s Dubai World Central on a chartered flight, your meals upon landing will reward you with stunning décor and amazing views. These restaurants aren’t just somewhere to eat; they’re unforgettable dining experiences.
Where to Eat After Landing in Dubai
At.mosphere Burj Khalifa (29 miles from IATA: DWC)
When you visit Dubai, it’s hard to miss Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at the time of publication. Rather than venture up to the viewing platform, book a table at At.mosphere on the 122nd floor, just 34 minutes from the airport. The slick restaurant is the world’s highest and features private dining, breakfast, dining in its lounge, high tea, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Try the rich hand-cut beef tartare with caviar or indulge in the seven-course experience tasting menu with wine pairings.
Billionaire Mansion Dubai (26 miles from IATA: DWC)
A newer favorite among international jet-setters, the restaurant at Billionaire Mansion is just 34 minutes from the tarmac. The downtown swanky hotspot in the Taj Dubai Hotel offers Japanese and Italian dishes, as well as performances that begin after 9:00 p.m. As the evening progresses, you’ll enjoy a full entertainment program that includes singing, dancing, acrobatics, and the best beats. Splurge on Volzhenka beluga caviar, wasabi prawns with mango and golden passion fruit salsa, and black miso cod.
Social by Heinz Beck (25 miles from IATA: DWC)
Located within the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Social by Heinz Beck is 35 minutes from Al Maktoum International Airport. Heinz Beck, the head chef of Michelin three-star restaurant La Pergola in Rome, seamlessly blends the flavors of several countries to bring you unconventional, complex Italian cuisine. The luxurious ambiance perfectly complements the view and delicately-presented dishes. Come hungry because it’s common to receive in-between courses you didn’t order. Indulge yourself with the five-course tasting menu paired with international wines.
Pierchic (23 miles from IATA: DWC)
An award-winning, romantic destination on a wooden pier that stretches over the Arabian Gulf, Pierchic, offers one of the most romantic settings in the area, especially when the sun sets. The over-the-water restaurant’s dining options are as elaborate as they are lavish. Glass walls allow you to have an al fresco feel while enjoying the air conditioning. When the weather is cool, ask for a corner table on the terrace for a great view of Bur Al Arab Jumeirah. The menu is dominated by seafood and has strong British and Mediterranean elements. It also has one of the most esteemed wine lists in the Emirates. Treat yourself to caviar, whole line-caught sea bass, Alaskan king crab, a seafood tower, or Chilean sea bass with smoked sweet potato.
Al Muntaha (23 miles from IATA: DWC)
A high-in-the-sky restaurant within the skyline-dominating, sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah tower, you’ll find Al Muntaha on the 27th floor—a 30-minute drive from the airport. The reservation-only contemporary European venue offers magnificent views and is a staple for luxury dining in Dubai. The à la carte menu offers oysters and pearls (caviar), decadent appetizers, and succulent main courses, such as Irish grass-fed tenderloin, and sea salt crusted John Dory for two. Spoil yourself with the three- or four-course menu. For the ultimate experience, order from the Culinary Flight lunch or dinner menu, which gives you the opportunity to explore the astounding repertoire of restaurants and bars at Burj Al Arab Jumeriah—from the atrium up to the 27th floor.